Marc Veyrat retires and hands over to his daughter

At 72, Marc Veyrat passes on his restaurant La Maison des bois in Manigod to his daughter Elise Veyrat. A page turns for the chef in the hat.

A page turns to Marc Veyrat. According to France 2, the chef in the hat has decided to pass on his restaurant The House of the Woods in Manigod to his daughter, the chief Elise Veyrat. A heavy task for the latter, trained at the Center de Formation des Apprentis de Groisy then alternately in the gourmet restaurant of Paul Bocuse, and just 25 years old.

Marc Veyratknown and recognized in the world of gastronomy for his work, particularly around wild herbs, has more recently distinguished himself for his battle against the Michelin Guidewho decided to withdraw his third star in 2019, after having awarded it in 2018. The chef had subsequently filed a court case to the red guide, demanding proof of the Michelin inspections. After the loss of this lawsuit, Marc Veyrat had simply asked to no longer appear in the Michelin Guide, which was refused. However, his establishment no longer appears on the website. Here is the biography of Marc Veyrat.

How old is Marc Veyrat? His biography

It was in the mountains of Haute-Savoie, in Annecy, that Marc Veyrat was born on May 8, 1950. The future chef grew up peacefully in the town of Manigod, where his grandparents had owned guest rooms since 1936 and offer hunters in the region a traditional Savoyard cuisine. His childhood, Marc Veyrat will keep wonderful memories. “I had a prodigious childhood. It was very difficult, very hard, but extraordinary”. It was also at this time that Marc Veyrat found his mentor… in terms of looks, at least! Indeed, every day, the young boy travels more than 5 kilometers on foot to get to the anticlerical school in which he is educated. Every evening, his grandfather came to fetch him with a wide hat on which he placed wild strawberries, cherries, blueberries, wild thyme. On the way back, the young Marc Veyrat pecked at these delicate fruity sweets… This explains the wearing of this large hat – which over the years has become his trademark – worn in homage to his grandpa loved it!

marc veyrat
© PJB/SIPA

As a teenager, Marc Veyrat took the paths of training at the Bellegarde-sur-Valserine hotel school in Ain, but he was quickly expelled (in just three months!) because of his rebel behavior. To meet his needs, he did a series of small jobs and became a ski instructor, tracker, shepherd, without however losing sight of his ambition: that of become a great chef !

In 1977, he teamed up with his sister, Marie-Ange Veyrat, and opened his first hostel in his youth town, Manigod, in Haute-Savoie. The establishment La Croix Fry, will be held by Marc and his sister for more than 8 years. The young autodidact practiced in the kitchen and worked his products with local plants, quickly managing to carve out a good reputation in the middle. The time to open his own restaurant is therefore a natural choice: Marc Veyrat opens the doors of Eridanus in a villa completely renovated for the occasion. This traditional restaurant does not take long to get noticed and the chef thus obtains, through hard work, his first star at the Michelin Guide in 1986 then his second in 1987. A year later, he obtained the title of chef of the year by the gastronomic guide Gault & Millau. The consecration !

The success is such that the chef continues openings until 2006. This year marks a turning point in the chef’s career: Marc Veyrat is the victim of a violent skiing accident. “I hit my daughter on skis before eating a pylon and her rock. I was broken all over: lumbar fractures, sinking of the rib cage, broken right shoulder, left leg in a spin, cervical loose. ..” His daughter Carine, born of his first union with his wife Annick, is also hard hit… After more than ten operations, and several months of immobilization, the boss decides to put an end to his activity and of return its stars. He therefore lost his contract with Sodexo for which he had undertaken to train chefs and sold his inn in Megève in November 2006. Of this dark period, Marc Veyrat will say “Overnight, you are nothing and all your friends leave you, with rare exceptions”.

Where are Marc Veyrat’s restaurants?

The man in the hat strikes while the iron is hot: in 1992, he launched The Eridan Inn in Veyrier-du-Lac, not far from the famous Lake Annecy. Barely three years later, he won the prestigious star of the Michelin Guide but also the title of Best Chef by the Wine Spectator, a renowned culinary guide across the Atlantic. Marc Veyrat is on the way to becoming a star of gastronomy and his tables are always full: you have to book 6 months in advance to taste his cuisine!

Proud of his many successes, the chef decided to open a second inn in 1999 in a very traditional style in Megève, My Father’s Farm, which turns out to be the exact replica of the Savoyard house of his childhood. Faithful to his origins, Marc Veyrat works there aromatic plants from the Alps and hastens to offer a Molecular gastronomy to its customers in order to bring even more taste to its creations. Moreover, he innovates in his cooking methods: he uses free nitrogen at -40°C. Once again, Gault & Millau was won over and awarded it the prestigious Exceptional chef’s hat. In 2000, consecration, the chef won the coveted third star.

In 2005, Marc Veyrat attempted the Parisian adventure by opening the restaurant Roland Garros in the Federal Pavilion of the Roland Garros tennis stadium in the heart of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. On the menu ? A menu declined around the letter “V”: vegetal, green, genuine, vaporous and voluptuous. An entire program !

marc veyrat
© PIERRE AUGIER/SIPA

After his skiing accident, the man in the hat stops all activity and returns his stars. Some say it’s over. Despite everything, Marc Veyrat got back on his feet: in September 2013, he decided to embark on a eco-biological establishment in his hometown, Manigold, at nearly 1600 meters above sea level. Its gastronomic restaurant called The House of the Woods also offers a luxury hotel service. The clientele is there and the reviews are rave reviews. Unfortunately, another twist of fate struck him again: in March 2015, a electrical fire destroyed three quarters of his establishment. Once again, Marc Veyrat is rolling up his sleeves and reopening his restaurant-hotel with a view of Mont Blanc as well as the restaurant Rural, at Porte Maillot in Paris. Menu prices are affordable and the spoiled child of French cuisine does not hesitate to play the mountain card to seduce lovers of good food. Proof that hard work pays off: the chef once again wins his precious 3 stars in the Michelin Guide for La Maison des Bois in 2018, before losing its third macaron barely a year later. A decision that leaves him perplexed and leads him in July 2019 to ask to return his two remaining stars no longer wishing to appear in the famous red book and denouncing the pressure imposed by it. The Michelin Guide refused his request, but the message got through! At the end of 2022, Marc Veyrat is gradually bowing out and passing on his restaurant in Manigod to his daughter, chef Elise Veyrat.

How to define Marc Veyrat’s cuisine?

Marc Veyrat’s cuisine carries with it values ​​of generosity. Faithful to his Savoyard childhood, the multi-award-winning chef delights his visitors with dishes created around peasant flavors and aromatic plants. Her Regional cooking blends perfectly with the modernity of techniques (cooking with liquid nitrogen for example…). His masters in the field? Joël Robuchon and botanist François Couplan! But that’s not all, the chef is also very close to Hélène Darroze, with whom he shared a show in the Top Chef program on M6 in 2018.

What are Marc Veyrat’s emblematic recipes?

Organic and local products are in the spotlight on the chef’s plate! Marc Veyrat works his dishes with wild plants let it rise in emulsion in two stages, three movements, without milk, cream or butter… just with a little vegetable broth! Wood sorrel stung eggveal mignon with Mirabelle plums, 21st century vegetarian tartiflette, Lake Geneva trout with pink grapefruit, roast beef with wild mushrooms… Gourmets flock to discover these tasty recipes that give pride of place to natural flavours…

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